The first time Pamela Mackey said the alleged victim’s name in open court, spectators gasped.
“Oh, I’m sorry, judge,” Kobe Bryant’s Denver defense attorney said after prosecutors immediately objected. “I didn’t mean that.”
Lawyers and law enforcement officials are barred from using a rape victim’s name under Colorado law, so other officials in the courtroom called the woman by her initials or referred to her as “the victim.”
After the third time she said her name, Mackey tried calling her “Miss F,” saying she had trouble using the woman’s initials. That didn’t go over any better, as a groan arose again from the spillover courtroom where the media and public were gathered.
The fourth time she used her name, spectators’ response grew louder. After the fifth time, Mackey said, “Let me write myself a note.”
“Or I could just go get the muzzle,” said Eagle County Judge Frederick Gannett. The courtroom erupted in laughter.
But by the sixth mention, some wondered if Mackey did it on purpose, putting the alleged victim’s name out there along with her high-profile client’s name. Mackey had used the woman’s full name twice, her last name four more times.
“She’s wicked,” said Virginia Ricke, a spectator from Iowa. “If she’s such a bright lady, why did she use her name six times?”
Ricke’s friend, Dolores Croker, agreed. “That’s a put-down,” she said.
But others jumped to Mackey’s defense, saying the woman who successfully represented so many high-profile clients was just making mistakes.
“I think Pam Mackey is too good of an attorney to do something like that,” said Andrew Cohen, a Denver attorney and an analyst for CBS News. “She really did look mortified.”